2008. március 15., szombat

Critical Self Appraisal (Laura Elliott)

Our initial approach to the Word and Image theme was to deconstruct the relationship between them. Our experience of being in Budapest highlighted the separation of word and image through language. The defamiliarisation of words led to a disattachment of the word and its relating object or concept and we wanted to present this in a visually engaging way.

Research on Magritte, Plato, Kosuth and Pierce significantly shaped our creative and critical thinking. However we found it difficult to think of original ways of expressing our ideas that were not directly imitative of the work we had looked at. We felt that the process of applying labels to contradict or undermine familiar objects and scenes was strong and this became a continually developing theme throughout our project. We progressed from handwritten paper labels to Dymo labels which were more authoritative and allowed for spontaneous first impressions, more significant to our ideas. A strength of our final labels is that they remained ambiguous and therefore avoided telling the viewer what to see - their interpretation could be more personal. When working in a public environment this is important as it means that the work is open to everyone.

From a visit to Ecseri Piac we became aware of the use of a frame as a device. This corresponded with ideas we had of bringing tropes of the gallery into the street. We wanted to challenge the sanctity of the gallery and make art public. The combination of frames and labels was a lot stronger than our previous working process as it made the area fixed and therefore bolder and more directive. It was also visually more engaging, creating a dialogue that invites an audience to engage with the work. It’s simplicity made it more effective.

One problem of working in a public environment was how easily the work could be interfered with. For example, if the composition relied on certain objects that were not static, the removal of this object could destroy the piece. However, I liked the risk involved and found it forced me to be more initiative and tested my ability to adapt ideas. Relying on found compositions also presented a problem in that on some occasions we would spend whole days walking and not find anything interesting. This was quite frustrating.

Working in collaboration with another person increased my motivation as we could bounce ideas back and forth and this helped to develop them both faster and in more critical depth. It also increased the opportunities for intervention as one person may spot something that the other may have overlooked. All posts on the blog were written together and this has strengthened the quality of our work through the combination of two perspectives. The blog itself was extremely useful as well as it has made the presentation of our work clearer and more organised.

Our final ’living photographs’ or interventions are a strong end result of a progression of creative thinking. We responded directly to a great deal of other artists work and critical theory and used it to contextualise our ideas, but were careful to produce original work that we were excited about. For the moment I intend to use this project as a starting point for a critical studies essay, but in a more general sense, the concept of making art public has inspired me and I intend to continue working in this way, perhaps even more ambitiously.

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